Spurs held by ten-man Reds in N17 Christmas cracker

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Liverpool

Tottenham Hotspur extended their unbeaten Premier League sequence to five matches under the guidance of Antonio Conte after sharing four goals with Liverpool following a frenetic Christmas Cracker in N17.

It was difficult to predict exactly what Spurs were likely to show up. Recently hit by COVID, the lack of game time as well as question marks over recovery left the Lilywhites faithful with plenty to chew the fat over.

Conte himself was unsure himself: “After two weeks it’s not easy to answer this question,” the Italian explained. 

“In these two weeks, we faced Covid problems, and our training ground was closed for three days, and we didn’t train for three or four days. And we started to train with only one part of all the players, and now other players are back.”

Liverpool provided the best of the early moments. Andy Robertson should have done better, heading wide after arriving unmarked to meet Mohammed Salah’s centre. Meanwhile, Hugo Lloris clung on after James Milner’s effort had deflected awkwardly off Tanguy Ndombele.

Lloris again earned his corn, turning aside a stinging strike from Trent Alexander-Arnold as the visitors continued to press. But when presented with their first opportunity of the contest, Spurs made the breakthrough. Ndombele with the slide rule pass – Harry Kane remembering exactly what it is he does best, beating Alisson with a tidy close-range finish.

Harry Kane and Emerson Royal celebrate the England skipper opening the scoring against Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Indeed, Spurs could have been home and hosed by the twenty-minute mark. Heung-Min Son a whisker away from converting Kane’s low centre, then denied by Alisson – The Brazilian stopper smothering after the South Korean had momentarily lapsed after racing clear.

Liverpool demanded a stiffer punishment after Kane was late on Robertson. Referee, Paul Tierney brandished a yellow card to the England skipper, who might count himself a little lucky.

Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp expresses his anger towards referee, Paul Tierney following Harry Kane’s challenge on Andy Robertson. The England skipper was booked (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Liverpool dusted themselves down. Lloris was forced into a smart save after Naby Keita had driven goalwards. But Spurs were now the more creative. Alisson saved brilliantly after Son had teed up Dele Alli, although the latter was left kicking himself not to have doubled the North Londoners lead as that proved costly. Diogo Jota heading firmly past the flat-footed Lloris after Roberton’s delightfully flighted cross from the left.

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota is congratulated by Andy Robertson after heading the Reds level (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Lloris superbly thwarted Alexander-Arnold with his feet as the contest continued to ebb and flow furiously. 

The game followed a similarly frantic pattern after the restart. Kane contrived to miss another terrific chance after Dele had attempted to square – Alisson recovering to save in the nick of time.

But Liverpool was to forge ahead twenty minutes from time in a controversial fashion. Dele appeared to be felled by Alexander-Arnold. However, Referee Tierney incensed the home support by waving away their protests. Liverpool broke – Alexander-Arnold recycled – Robertson nodded home from close range. 

But the Reds lead lasted barely four minutes. Alisson raced from his goal and made a hash of clearing A through pass from Harry Winks – Son was on hand to roll into an empty net.

The drama continued. Robertson’s challenge on Emerson Royal was wild and late. The Scotland international invited for an early bath after VAR invited Mr Tierney to have a second look.

Spurs now turn their attention to the Carabao Cup where they face West Ham United in a quarter-final tie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday, December 22 (7:45pm). They return to Premier League action on Sunday 26 when Crystal Palace are the visitors’ (3pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Royal, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Sessegnon (Reguilon 86′), Winks, Dele (Lucas 81′), Ndombele (Skipp 64′), Son, Kane Subs not used: Austin (GK), Doherty, Tanganga, Rodon, Lo Celso, Bergwijn

Booked: Harry Kane (foul), Emerson Royal (foul), Ben Davies (foul), Harry Winks (foul)

Goals: Harry Kane 13′, Heung-Min Son 74′

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson, Morton (Firmino 60′), Milner (Capt), Keita, Mane (Tsimikas 82′), Salah, Jota (Gomez 90+2′) Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Gordon, Williams, Quansah

Booked: Tyler Morton (foul), Naby Keita (dissent), Kostas Tsimikas (foul), Ibrahima Konate (foul), 

Sent-Off: Andy Robertson (foul)

Goals: Diogo Jota 34′, Andy Robertson 70′

Referee: Paul Tierney 

Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis and Dan Cook

Fourth Official: Andre Marriner

VAR: Chris Kavanagh

Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan

Attendance: 45,421

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]